Header Ads

PNG Budget failure by Treasurer using fake and manipulated figures

Statements by: Former PM and Ialibu-Pangia MP, Hon. Peter O'Neill.

5th December 2019

The Hon. Peter O’Neill, CMG, MP, has reviewed the budget by the new Treasurer and has provided his perspective on the false information and manipulation of data for political gain.

The former Prime Minister said he has given the current government breathing space for them to seek to implement a policy agenda form more than half a year, and given perspective where this is appropriate, but they must be held to account.

“The budget prepared by this Treasurer and his Australian advisors cannot go without comment due to the fake figures and the hypocrisy they are peddling,” Peter O’Neill said.

“This budget is a study in hypocrisy with misleading and false figures from the Treasurer, that is taking PNG backwards and will undoubtedly drag PNG down into a recession.

“The budget was prepared by a group of foreign academics who do not live in our country and have spent years talking our economy down. Many of the measures in this budget just seek to justify their negative social media posts over recent years.

“Essentially, the Treasurer is saying that all economic ministers and officials at Treasury and other departments are wrong and have been giving incorrect figures for the past eight years.

“This is absolutely false and the Treasurer should eb ashamed for seeking to tarnish the names and reputations of hard-working Papua New Guineans.”

Mr. O’Neill, who was also the former Treasurer and Finance Minister in the Somare Government, said Ling-Stuckey’s dishonest approach can do nothing but further embarrass the current Prime Minister.

“At the start of his term, James Marape said his government would never borrow and that was in his DNA. Then when James Marape started talking about taking on new debt he was criticised for flip-flopping by Opposition Treasury spokesman, Ian Ling-Stuckey.

“Now Ling-Stuckey has delivered the highest borrowing budget in our Nation’s history that will take decades to repay.

“Even worse is that the K4.6 billion in new debt does not include repaying the K1 billion loan from Australia next year, and funding a growing revenue shortfall as business activity slows.”

Mr. O’Neill said the Treasurer should also come clean regarding his blind support for the IMF Staff Monitored Program.

“Ling-Stuckey must be honest and tell the country of the substantial cuts the IMF requires of the public service that will reduce services and public safety.

“He must tell our people about the IMF’s demand for the Kina to be depreciated substantially next year which will mean increasing the price of everyday imported goods including food. He must also reveal the IMF demands that there be no commercial borrowings whatsoever, even to roll over existing commercial debt.”

The former Prime Minister said as a glaring example of the lies in the budget documents are the Treasurer’s wild debt level accusations that are based on altered methodology that misrepresents figures so that he can raise the debt to GDP ratio ceiling.

“Ling-Stuckey has used much-reduced GDP data, incorporated so-called valuation effects and added in debt from NCDC, KCHL and a mineral project that are not within the accepted framework.

“Put simply, Ling-Stuckey and Flanagan created a higher debt to GDP ratio simply by changing the methodologies used to inflate the number.”

Peter O’Neill said while the Treasurer claims he is delivering policy reform, the only obvious policy reform is an absolute disaster for our people with the abandonment of one of the most important long-term policies that we had in free education.

“The government has cut funding in half and it will hurt our poorest families particularly in remote and rural areas,” he said

“For the privileged and wealthy, the free education policy is not something they care about, but for the million children who will now be forced out of school this is a cruel act.

“The irony is that when he was Education Minister, James Marape was crying and saying the country needed free education, now he has the power he is cancelling it.

“For every young girl who now has no hope of an education because her family is poor, the responsibility for their future hardship can clearly be placed on the shoulders of James Marape and Ian Ling-Stuckey.”

Mr. O’Neill said the bottom line is that this government is now officially an economic failure with an incompetent Treasurer who is throwing away the gains of the past eight years.

“From 2011 to 2019 our Government stimulated the economy of our country, even in the face of global and domestic challenges. We had to bear the brunt of low commodity prices and natural disasters and this is why we put in place our medium term fiscal and financing plans.

“We introduced PNG’s first comprehensive medium term revenue strategy following a substantive taxation review done under our Government’s tenure.

“These and many other policies were succeeding in generating much higher economic growth rates and employment levels, but have now been abandoned leaving a policy vacuum.

“During our period of Government there was confidence in the business community, but now after just six months of this current mess, business has no confidence in the economy.”



PNG Electoral Commissioner Gamato remanded for Breaching bail conditions

No comments

Thank you for visiting this web page. We would like to hear from you, feel free to comment below.

Powered by Blogger.